There’s often a temptation with bathrooms to tile across the floor, up to the ceiling and from wall to wall. Practical, yes, and certainly necessary in a wet room (in which case, we’d suggest going for a tile with some natural or handmade texture so it’s not so mausoleum-like), but also a bit chilly and rather echoey. There’s nothing about tiles that gives the impression of a warm and soothing embrace, which, after all, is how you should feel when stepping into your bathroom.
Paint and timber, on the other hand, are full of warmth, being literally warmer to the touch and also, thanks to their matt or semi-matt appearance, visually softer. (They’re also, happily, less expensive.) We’d therefore suggest that you limit tiles to the walls immediately surrounding your shower, and opt for a hardwearing and wipeable painted finish elsewhere, like timber panelling painted in eggshell. This also has the added advantage over plain paint of bringing texture to your walls and, if you stop the panelling part-way up, it can incorporate a small shelf on which to lean pieces of art or rest bud vases and pretty bottles. And it’s perfectly possible to use it around a bath or sink, just choose water-resistant panelling in this case and, if you’re panelling the front of a fitted bath too, then make sure the lines match up with those on the wall.
And now to floors. If you do use tiles or, if the budget will stretch, natural stone here, make sure you incorporate underfloor heating. It’ll absolutely make all the difference on winter mornings. But, you can absolutely use timber too. If you’re lucky enough to have proper wooden floorboards, then embrace them. They’ll add such a lot of character and warmth and, while they may move a little and you may get the odd creak here or there, if they’ve been properly seasoned (which, if they’re original to your home, they certainly will be) and you keep the space well-ventilated, this should be minimal. If you are worried about warping though, opt for engineered boards. These are made from actual wood, unlike laminate, but because they’re built up in layers of thin strips, they really won’t move.